Kent, S. and Pitt, J.V.
Feature-based and Model-based Semantics for English, French and German Verb Phrases.
Language Sciences, 18
(Full text available)
This paper considers the relative merits of using features and formal event models to characterise the semantics of English, French and German verb phrases, and con- siders the application of such semantics in machine translation. The feature-based ap- proach represents the semantics in terms of feature systems, which have been widely used in computational linguistics for representing complex syntactic structures. The paper shows how a simple intuitive semantics of verb phrases may be encoded as a feature system, and how this can be used to support modular construction of au- tomatic translation systems through feature look-up tables. This is illustrated by automated translation of English into either French or German. The paper contin- ues to formalise the feature-based approach via a model-based, Montague semantics, which extends previous work on the semantics of English verb phrases. In so doing, repercussions of and to this framework in conducting a contrastive semantic study are considered. The model-based approach also promises to provide support for a more sophisticated approach to translation through logical proof; the paper indicates further work required for the fulfilment of this promise.
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